Skip to main content

tv   Parker Spitzer  CNN  November 6, 2010 3:00am-4:00am EST

4:00 am
nokidhungry.org. thanks, billy shore, jeff bridges, look for jeff in films coming in december. natalie cole will be our guest monday night. good friday. i'm kathleen parker. >> i'm eliot spitzer. welcome to the program. boy, do we have a great show tonight? is compromise possible after the heat and venom of that campaign that ended on tuesday? we will have that conversation with tom daschle who was the majority leader in the senate, a democrat when george bush, a republican, was president. >> plus, one of the sharpest foreign policy minds argues that america's greatest threat isn't al qaeda or our two wars, but the national debt. we'll ask him to explain. and comedian adam carolla joins us with his new book "in 50 years we'll all be chicks." >> scary. >> since my own book, this should be provocative anyway. >> can't wait.
4:01 am
>> first we have our opening arguments. >> headline today and we knew it tuesday, jobs, jobs, jobs. that's what everything is about these days and you know what, we got some data that's a little confusing to say the least. the unemployment rate, 9.6%. exactly where it was before. 18.7% if you count all the discouraged workers. still a really ugly, bad number. the good news, 151,000 jobs were created last month. that is encouraging. let's take a look at a chart we created for folks. we call this the smile. the red bars when george bush was president. a lot of job losses, 700,000 a month. barack obama becomes president. it tips up and you can see all the charts going up. the bar is going up. a lot of jobs being created in the profit ten months. over a million prooift sector jobs being created over the past year. that's good news. >> it is good news but i have to say that chart is sort of a rorschach. it looked like a smirk to me. >> smirk/smile, all right. >> grimace. anyway, here's the weird thing, right, president obama three
4:02 am
days after an election landslide for the republicans unemployment figures not so thrilling and he's off on a trip again. >> wouldn't you go away too. >> i think what's happened is he thinks his job was outsourced so he's going to asia. >> don't be so mean. >> he's go to asia for ten days. i'm supposed to be a contrarian but i'm going to be contracontrarian. all this criticism about obama is going off on this trip and so many are going with him and it'll cause laddy-dee. someone came up with $200 million a day. at this point i have to say what do we expect the president to do? he is going on a trip taste been on the books for a long time and had to cancel before. the purpose of the trip is to talk about economics and our trade situation and try to create jobs here rat home. and, you know, it includes the g-20 -- i sound like a democrat here. >> that's why i'm not interrupting. this is good. >> finally we found out how to keep you from interrupting me.
4:03 am
g-20 summit. this is the responsible thing for him to do, right? >> absolutely. >> it seems like partisan hackery to be picking on him about this. >> i hate to say it but i could not agree more. let him do the job. the g-20 is hugely important. but let's go back to jobs, because jobs will be the key. i have a chart to show up here what the jobs figures have been. i love charts. come on. there it is. when the president as in president obama came in, unemployment at 7.7. it peaked at 10.1. now it's down to 9.6 and here's the question, he got shellacked, his word, on tuesday. in the elections because the job situation is so terrible. if he wants to have a fighting chance, this is my view now, if he wants to have a fighting chance to get re-elected he's got to get that number down to 7.6, below where it was when he came into office. if he's going to do that, we calculate he's got to create about 550,000 jobs a month. now, compare that to the 150,000
4:04 am
we just created this past month, you see how much work we still have to do. a big, big chasm. >> and james carville on our show the other night said, if barack obama doesn't get that level down to at least 8% he's probably not even going to run again. >> the 7.6% i'm talking about was by the iowa caucuses which is really when that campaign goes into full throttle so give him the few extra months if you extend further into 2012 but order of magnitude we are still hundreds of thousands of jobs a month away from where the president needs to be to be able to say to the american public, look, we've really turned the ship around. >> well, and now to talk more about the job situation let's go to our own team and "the arena." joining us now from salon.com is steve and john. when james carville was on the show he said if president obama doesn't get unemployment down below 8% he probably won't even run for president. is that right. >> it's james being mischievous.
4:05 am
he's been known to do that. i would say that first this kind of talk inevitably follows the midterm we saw tuesday when the democrats got slaughtered in '94 the talk was bill clinton wouldn't run for a second term and if he dared to run, he would be challenged. the talk after the 1982 midterms with ronald reagan they said he was too old. they have to come up with somebody else. now, obviously in both of those situations the economy improved between the midterm and re-election year and by historical standard it's got to improve for obama to have a chance in 2012. >> you're big on jobs and think private sector does all things magical. how many jobs -- >> don't you love how he puts words in your mouth? >> that they will create over the next year. >> well -- >> yeah, john. >> when obama came into office his economist said if we pass the stimulus bill we will hold unemployment below 8%. that didn't quite work out as well as hoped. i don't see anything new on the
4:06 am
obama playbook. maybe i'll be wrong. maybe the state of the union message in january will have some different people but if he keeps on the present course the level of uncertainty which has helped retard job creation for so long is probably going to continue. now, i think he's going to cut a deal on bush tax cuts and extend them for everyone except on upper income brackets only for a couple of years. he acknowledged cap and trade is pretty much dead. those are helpful but i think you actually need something to spur the economy. his own tax commission headed by paul volcker, a good democrat, said our corporate tax rate is the second highest in the industrialized world and recommended we cut it. obama himself has suggested that. there are lots of -- proposed tax credits. that kind of strategy would increase people's certainty and their confidence -- >> i think most would agree if he could lower our corporate tax rate, fine, be competitive. we need the revenue. name your cuts but here's some
4:07 am
numbers. between president bush's inauguration, his depar tsunami tur we had a net loss of 4 million jobs. president obama and i'm not trying to play games but since the worst moment of the recession he has created over a million private sector jobs. so i'm not sure where this argument about massive uncertainty. it's a demand crisis. it is a demand crisis driving this. too much leverage that led to an enormous collapse. now it is a demand crisis that is not letting people invest. >> do you still want to -- >> you bet. i will take -- >> white economist -- that's your business. >> look, i will take that over the voodoo economics -- you jump in here. >> when president obama offers to extend these tax cuts, is he really interested in compromise or is he trying to get re-elected? >> it's an interesting dilem. on the surface if you look at a poll question and say to people do you favor tax increases only on the wealthy, that individual poll question always polls very well.
4:08 am
but these tax questions are actually more complicated than you think and a prime example in the last year where president obama came into office, it's true, he has said this on the campaign trail, he did cut taxes through his stimulus program for 95% of americans but if you take a poll and ask americans if their taxes were cut they don't believe that happened. if you can think back to when bill clinton was president, a budget key to the economic success we had in the '90s he raised taxes only on the top % of income earners. >> most people said -- >> class warfare is tempting but it usually doesn't work out that well. we had an example in washington state. they had a proposal to create a new state income tax. it would only have affected 2% of all the taxpayers in the state and there would have been middle class tax cuts. it lost -- it won 35% of the vote. it was crushed even though it had the support of bill gates sr., bill gates jr. -- >> that eliminates the uncertainty.
4:09 am
will they invest the 2 trillion that they've been sitting on the sidelines watching? >> some is being invested overseas. that's one of the problems. i think if you increase certainty in all previous recessions we've had a more significant recovery and a faster recovery. there's -- we have not had this lag between the end -- when is the last time -- >> there is a reason for that called globalization facing a much more dramatic set of competitors overseas -- >> germany is facing competitors and recovering faster than we are. >> they have a very different economic base. they've always been a massive exporter and driven the economy with an export driven model for many years. >> canada's recovering faster than we are. >> you're right. in certain examples you can -- >> how many do you want me to mention, australia, new zealand? the center of our economy was whittled away by the reagan deregulatory --
4:10 am
>> you're blaming somebody president 25 years ago. >> listen to paul volcker. >> i can't believe this. >> listen to alan greenspan who says that is what led to this enormous collapse. we are beginning to dig out and that's why the job creation -- >> i'll make a compromise with you. paul volcker is a good democrat. he secured a tax commission under barack obama. i'll take all of his recommendation, call that a political compromise. we would have a better economy and more jobs and a faster economy. >> will you take the volcker rule and fully implement it. >> as a compromise, yes. >> we've been asking guests to name their cuts. john just named a compromise. you get a turn. >> name a compromise. what would you be willing to compromise? >> it's inevitable compromise at this point. that's the bush tax cuts. the idea they'll be extended for at least a year and maybe a year from now or a couple down the line i think that's coming. i see no harm in terms of a recovery in raising the income tax rates on the absolutely
4:11 am
wealthiest in the country. i don't think it hindered them in '93. i don't think we should raise taxes on anybody else but keep the low rates for everybody -- >> how about raising the threshold. $250,000 ain't what it used to be. >> it's minimal. again, i think i look back to 1993 -- >> half the small business income would be affected. >> i heard dire predicts when we raised it. we were coming out of a recession. it was a double dip recession. it was going to be job killing and the result was 1990s. in 1993 we raised the tax rates and had a decade of growth. >> in june of 1993 when clinton raised taxes we were out of the recession for already a year. >> and every republican -- >> all right, guys. >> look, the political -- >> newt gingrich said it. [ all talking at once ] >> we were not -- >> oh, my gosh. >> watch what the numbers are, and -- >> i'm afraid we have gridlock.
4:12 am
steve and john, thanks so much for being with us. we'll be right back. the new speaker john boehner who keeps talking about repeal, repeal, repeal, he's just wrong. that's not what the people voted for him to do. >> both sub stanley and politically. i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses. if you're already on or eligible for medicare, call now to find out how an aarp... medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company, helps cover some of the medical expenses... not paid by medicare part b. that can save you from paying up to thousands of dollars... out of your own pocket. these are the only medicare supplement insurance plans... exclusively endorsed by aarp. when you call now, you'll get this free information kit... with all you need to enroll.
4:13 am
put their trust in aarp medicare supplement insurance. plus you'll get this free guide to understanding medicare. the prices are competitive. i can keep my own doctor. and i don't need a referral to see a specialist. call now to get a free information kit. plus you'll get this free guide to understanding medicare. and the advantages don't end there. choose from a range of medicare supplement plans... that are all competitively priced. we have a plan for almost everyone, so you can find one that fits your needs and budget. with all medicare supplement plans, there are virtually no claim forms to fill out. plus you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare. and best of all, these plans are... the only medicare supplement plans endorsed by aarp. when they told me these plans were endorsed by aarp... i had only one thing to say... sign me up. call the number on your screen now... and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan. you'll get this free information kit...
4:14 am
and guide to understanding medicare, to help you choose the plan that's right for you. as with all medicare supplement plans, you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare, get help paying for what medicare doesn't... and save up to thousands of dollars. call this toll-free number now. and now it's time for tonight's idea headliner." the looming question, can gridlock be avoided? >> our next guest knows a thing
4:15 am
or two about forging compromise as former senate majority leader tom daschle hammered out several bipartisan deals and now is the author of a new book "getting it done: how obama and congress finally broke the stalemate to make way for a new health care system." >> we sat down with him earlier. take a look. >> a lot of people around here have been saying if you had been the chief of staff tuesday would not have happened. that would not have turned out quite the way it did. >> my mother doesn't get by with that so successfully. >> i don't know how she got my e-mail. what would you advise president obama to do. >> i think in a word i'd use the word inclusion. i think the more inclusive, the more we can build relationships and trust and tear down sort of the barriers that have existed because of the polarization, the more successful we'll be. when we're in crisis, more often than not we find this is the time we've got to do it. we don't -- it shouldn't take a crisis, but we are in a crisis in many respects, economically
4:16 am
and in so many social -- the social challenges that we face. we've got to understand that inclusive politics is something we've got to embrace. >> what happened tuesday night? was this massive republican takeover of the house, okay, and a lot of that was tied to voters' unhappiness with the health care bill. so how -- what is your position on this? i mean should the people just -- do they not know better? should they just take their medicine and be quiet? they've obviously voiced their position and they're in support of what the republicans apparently want to do. >> i challenge the premise. every poll i've seen and i mean this -- i don't think this is inaccurate. every poll i've seen the american people are evenly divided between those who support it and those who don't. when you drill down on those who oppose it, when you ask them about specific provisions in the bill, they are very supportive and so i think we have to be -- i think the election turned on three things, one, there is a
4:17 am
tremendous concern and anxiety about the economy and future of this country and in terms of jobs and every other aspect of the financial lives of most americans. secondly, there is an extraordinary frustration with washington today. democrats were in control and i believe in large measure democrats got the blame for the fact that washington is not more functional than it is today. and, third, i think there was a lot more energy on the republican side today than there is on the democratic side. and that energy level which was evidenced more in the funding and -- than it was on any other aspect, those three factors played a big role. >> the new speaker john boehner who keeps talking about repeal, repeal is just wrong. >> i think he's wrong both substantively and politically. when you drill down to say we want to repeal insurance reform, we want to repeal the very protection that is we finally put in place, we want to repeal the things that might actually bring about real cost savings and improvement in quality. when you ask those questions the
4:18 am
american people say overwhelmingly we don't want to do that. does that mean it's perfect? absolutely not. is there plenty of opportunity for compromise and finding more xron ground? absolutely. but repeal is not the option. >> here's the question i've got. the senate was dysfunctional when we as democrats had 59 or 60 seats. what's it going to be like with 53? this is going to be gridlock and as every day gets closer to the iowa caucuses, even hate to utter that phrase, presidential race is around the corner. what will happen? it's going to become awful. you were the majority leader. how do you drive bills when you're dealing with an intransigent opposition? >> well, i think i actually had to preside over initially a 50/50 senate, and so i know close margins. i think what you have to do is make sure both sides feel invested in the process. if one side doesn't feel invested and for the last two years, the republicans have not felt invested at all things
4:19 am
change tuesday night. now the republicans are in the majority. now they've got to show that electing them the in the majority made a difference and can't get away with just saying no because they now have to demonstrate that being in the majority means something. they've got to show some progress. so they're going to have to come to the table just as newt gingrich did on welfare reform and an array of issues in the '90s. >> we have to ask you to name your cuts and compromise. what would you cut in order to reduce the deficit. >> my number one candidate would be health care. ironically because i'm such an advocate of health reform but i think one of the reasons why i feel so strongly about the need for health reform is cost cutting and making more out of what we already spend. but secondly we spend a billion dollars on fossil fuel research every year. i'm from farm country. we spend more on subsidies than we should. never been a limit on how much
4:20 am
subsidy a farmer is entitled to. i'd like to cap it. i'd say $200,000. no more than that. regardless of circumstance and those are the kinds of cuts that i think could make a big difference. >> all right and on the compromise front is there an opportunity to get the republican party to agree to cuts in the defense budget, something that is being said by primarily those outside government either private sector or former electeds, any opportunity to get them to cross over and say, yes, we can cut defense. >> i'm encouraged by some of the newer republican candidates. i thud say the newer republican leadership. there's been more of an expressed willingness more privately than publicly to say we ought to make sure defense is on the table, as well. >> which ones? >> i think paul ryan. i think, you know, he's always the person you point to, but thinkers, you know, across the board. i don't what to pin anybody down because i don't want to speak for others, but i will say i
4:21 am
think that there's a better environment than there's ever been for us to look at that. >> senator, thank you very much for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> thanks so much. don't go away. we will be right back. i know why i men are becoming chicks. why do you think. >> i think we're becoming one. i think it's like an axe and somewhere whenever they filmed "mad mention" we were at the bottom of one side of the axe and we're heading towards this. d assistance getting around their homes. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little or no cost to you. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your mobility and your life. one medicare benefit that, with private insurance,
4:22 am
may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen ... your power chair will be paid in full. the scooter store. hi i'm doug harrison. we're experts at getting you the power chair or scooter you need. in fact, if we qualify you for medicare reimbursement and medicare denies your claim, we'll give you your new power chair or scooter free. i didn't pay a penny out of pocket for my power chair. with help from the scooter store, medicare and my insurance covered it all. call the scooter store for free information today.
4:23 am
4:24 am
now it's time for fun with politics. as we all know kathleen wrote a book "save the males." >> this man has a lot of man cred. he was on "jimmy kimmel" and on "the man show." please welcome author of "in fifty years we'll all be chicks," adam carolla. you don't look like a chick. do you think you're becoming a chick? >> well, if i took my shirt off. >> you did dance in a zorro contest on "dancing with the stars". >> i was the only one entered in a zorro contest. >> on a unicycle no less. >> i got no love for going out there on my unicycle in front of
4:25 am
20 million people and possibly landing on my keister. >> people must applaud you when you walk down the street now. >> all right. so why do you think men are becoming chicks? i know why i think men are becoming chicks. >> i don't even think we're becoming women. i think we're becoming one. i think it's like an axe and somewhere whenever they filmed "mad men" we were at the bottom of one side and you were at the bottom of the other and we're heading toward this. >> you think this is a dangerous thing to be avoided? >> it is. >> you're trying to swing away. >> i think there's a reason why we're different and mostly about the kids. i mean it's mostly about saying, here's dad and here's mom. not here's blah and here's blah. mom's got the six-pack abs and the dads stay home. >> you know when kids come out of the chute they are different for the most part. >> totally different. >> absolutely. i have twins. >> we try to make them the same. >> twins, boys, girl. >> i have a boy and girl and they're wildly different and it's the same deal.
4:26 am
it's the same thing i sort of grew up on a steady diet from the '70s of all this crap well it's all society and the man and if you give a little boy a dolly he'll love the dolly like a truck. bs. these people should be run down and sued by the way. >> you're winning. there is a push back and people are buying it. >> how can you argue with it? you have kids. you can tell. >> i gave my son a doll. >> no, you didn't. >> i wanted him to be -- i grew up the same time you did. he started ripping the arms off. no, i recovered quickly because then i said what am i doing? this is ridiculous and girls, girls will sit and watch things and talk and chitchat. they like to do that. you know, they build their nest. >> we're different and it's good. in the animal kingdom they're different. we don't have a problem with it. we're not like, hey, that polar bear chick and dude aren't the same. how come she's doing this and he's out hunting for blubber? it's just the way it is. >> you have a view on everything in the world.
4:27 am
there's nothing you don't have an opinion about. you want people to vote based on how much they pay in taxes. >> sure. >> so bill gates and warren buffett get to choose the next president. >> yeah, i in the book say for every ten grand you pay in you get one vote because right now my mom's vote is canceling out warren buffett's vote. >> your mom may be listening to this. >> she can't afford cable. >> you like to say greed is good. >> i think so. it motivates people. the sort of thing where it's like big pharmaceuticals always -- they're the man and they're nasty. it motivates them to come up with cures. >> when you saw gordon gekko say that in "wall street" when he said greed is good that's great. >> obviously there's limits as we've seen. things can spin out of control but you want society and you want companies motivated. i mean you want someone to go, look, you cure aids and we'll give you a pat on the back or
4:28 am
you cure aids and we'll give you billion, you get aids cure a lot faster. >> apparently your mother is a good short because you talk about her a little bit and said you grew up on welfare and welfare is monetary methadone. >> yes. >> so what do you wish would have happened instead. >> well, i wish -- well, actually -- i mean -- >> you wish you had been adopted. >> if you give somebody just enough to get by sort of in perpetuity then they will sink to that level. i saw all the wind taken out of my mom's sail. i saw all the fire taken out of her belly. it's like you need to be a little bit hungry. you need to be a little cold when it's cold outside or a little too hot. i said, this is horrible. it's embarrassing. i don't want to live this way and it motivated me and i think when you just give people just enough it sort of just makes them all docile. >> all right. >> adam carolla, thank you so much for being with us.
4:29 am
got a podcast on itunes and we will be right back. the idea that in the 20 odd years since the berlin wall came down the two great involvements of american foreign policy is a place called iraq and afghanistan rather than in latin america or africa or asia seems to me strategically really flawed. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses. if you're already on or eligible for medicare, call now to find out how an aarp... medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company, helps cover some of the medical expenses... not paid by medicare part b. that can save you from paying up to thousands of dollars... out of your own pocket. these are the only medicare supplement insurance plans... exclusively endorsed by aarp. when you call now, you'll get this free information kit...
4:30 am
with all you need to enroll. put their trust in aarp medicare supplement insurance. plus you'll get this free guide to understanding medicare. the prices are competitive. i can keep my own doctor. and i don't need a referral to see a specialist. call now to get a free information kit. plus you'll get this free guide to understanding medicare. and the advantages don't end there. choose from a range of medicare supplement plans... that are all competitively priced. we have a plan for almost everyone, so you can find one that fits your needs and budget. with all medicare supplement plans, there are virtually no claim forms to fill out. plus you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare. and best of all, these plans are... the only medicare supplement plans endorsed by aarp. when they told me these plans were endorsed by aarp... i had only one thing to say... sign me up. call the number on your screen now... and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan.
4:31 am
you'll get this free information kit... and guide to understanding medicare, to help you choose the plan that's right for you. as with all medicare supplement plans, you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare, get help paying for what medicare doesn't... and save up to thousands of dollars. call this toll-free number now. our next guest just returned from a trip throughout asia. richard haass is the president of the council on foreign relations and the director of
4:32 am
policy planning at the state department from 2001 to 003. he's also the author of "war of necessity, war of choice, a memoir of two iraq wars." thanks for joining us. "war of necessity, war of choice," what's the difference? >> war of necessity when the united states' vital national interests are at stake and no other alternative. world war ii, korean war, the first iraq. wars of choice are just that. the interests tend to be less than vital. more important we have other policy options rather than an all-out war, the second iraq war, we clearly didn't have to do when we did and more recently what we're doing in afghanistan. interestingly, afghanistan was a war of necessity after 9/11, we had to act in order to prevent the second 9/11 but what we're doing now, this ambitious policy of taking on the taliban, of nation building, of counterinsurgency is a war of choice in my view, not a terribly wise one.
4:33 am
>> in your view we should withdraw. >> i would draw it down, reduce. i would do a version in afghanistan of what we're doing in places like yemen, somalia, even pakistan. special forces, drones, counterterrorism, a limited u.s. troop presence on the group. we simply don't have the luxury financially and militarily of the sort of investment we're making in afghanistan. >> we'll get to your take on u.s. financial situation in a moment. but what you're saying is that the war against terrorism is diffuse and to pour the resources we are into afghanistan which frankly is a losing effort right now when simultaneously today we saw al qaeda of the arabian peninsula claiming credit for the attack of a few weeks ago, the packages being sent, we should be doing something more universal and higher tech? >> exactly and also i don't think we can succeed in afghanistan given you've got a sanctuary in pakistan. we learned the hard way when you fight a guerrilla-type effort who have a sanctuary you're not going to succeed.
4:34 am
second of all our so-called partner is not really a partner. it's weak, corrupt. we could make things better while the u.s. military is acting at 100,000. what we can't do is make the improvement stick so we can do this for however long we do it. we'll lose a lot of lives and dollars and my concern is we will not be able to make enduring advances. >> if i say so, you -- your prominence exploded when you were one of the first center, centrist conservative republicans saying the second gulf war was a mistake. it was a war of choice and of wrong choice. in afghanistan you were the first to say this is a failure. have you gotten push-back? the foreign policy establishment has not yet said you are correct but i think everybody in the general public is saying, yes, of course, richard haass is correct. >> well, i haven't met that many saying richard haass is correct walking down the street. afghanistan is very much an act in play, same with iraq. it's too soon to draw judgments about iraq and i think that's
4:35 am
fair enough. i would say even if iraq turns out fairly well and quite honestly i'm skeptical, i still don't believe it will have been worth the investment in lives, in dollars, in time, all that is at stake. same thing with afghanistan. i'm skeptical what it's going to achieve but you've got to look at the costs and benefits. what you achieve versus what it costs and, again, you mentioned i came back from asia. that's where history is happening. the idea that in the 20 odd years since the berlin wall came down, the two great involvements of american foreign policy is in a place called iraq and afghanistan rather than in latin america or africa or asia seems to be strategically really flawed. >> yeah, i want -- i'll get you to talk more about your trip to asia and the economy. one last question for me on afghanistan, very personal which has to do with women. i think all of us are deeply concerned what happens to the women when we withdraw? is that collateral damage? >> well, again i'm not talking about withdrawal but drawing down our presence. but in parts of afghanistan, the role of women is going to be
4:36 am
rough. in areas of the south where pashtuns are traditional and taliban have the greatest inroads i think we've got to be realistic. things are not going to be great but i don't think we can have an investment on the scale over $2 billion a week losing perhaps 40 to 50 american soldiers a month, i simply don't think we can sustain that in an open-ended way to protect the women of afghanistan. i think there are however other things we can do with aid and training up local afghan forces so in parts of afghanistan i do think we can make the situation okay and there may have to be movelation movements. >> our greatest national security threat isn't al qaeda, you wrote, or even terrorism but the economy. can you talk about that a bit? >> sure, the foundation of what all we do in the world, the ability to support a military, the ability to be a successful example of an economy, the ability to maintain a good standard of living here at home, all that rests on economic foundations and what worries me is our economic foundations are weak right now.
4:37 am
we are spending far more than we're taking in and my view, it's unsustainable and if we don't correct it, my concern is one day we'll wake up and the world is going to do to us a version of what it did to greece and other countries in southern europe. >> your article in this most recent issue of "foreign affairs" says it held deficit spending in check broke down during the bush administration. what happened? >> well, just that. people started spending way too much on everything from prescription drug benefits to you name it and what we stopped doing was balancing. the idea, well, if we spend more here we have to spend less here, that discipline went out the window. >> you point the finger -- perhaps a bad metaphor but articulated tax cuts were a flawed decision from a fiscal perspective. >> again, because they weren't married or combined with various spending cuts. you have to look at things on both sides. no one looks at a business and looks at what comes in as opposed to only what goes out. the idea we would run the united states without thinking of both
4:38 am
sides of the ledger no wonder we're in the jam we're in. >> which takes us to not only the question we've asked everybody but you do say our last best hope perhaps is the deficit commission that is going to report back shortly. you think it will have meaningful answers. >> i'm worried and i think the results of the elections we just had reduced the odds which were already not great that we are going to get some sort of a consensus. my concern is if they report on dose 1 and the next few months the congress and president can't agree i worry the rest of the world will begin to lose confidence in our ability to sort out our economic situation and why do we think that the rest of the world will forever fund american extravagance? >> well, do you think the recent elections in this republican bloodbath, does that undercut president obama as he heads to asia. >> whatever the option of wind in your sails i'd say that's the situation. on the other hand i just came back from there.
4:39 am
what's so interest, people are hungry for an american presence. the 800-pound gorilla is called china. they want the united states to be more present there. to the administration's credit it has been. hillary clinton and bob gates made an extraordinary number of trips there. the one area where we're hurting ourselves is a lack of a trade policy. trade is now the principal dynamic or driver, not just of economic integration in the region and wealth creation but where you buttress your security relationships. the enact that we can't pass the u.s./korea free trade agreement, the fact that this president doesn't have the authority to negotiate trade agreements, globally or regionally really ties us. ties our hands in what we can accomplish. one of the big questions and i'm not again terribly optimistic is whether the president and this new congress will be able to come to a consensus that the united states needs an open trade policy. it's a major job generator, and it's a major 12r5e7b8gic benefit to the country. i'm concerned that they probably won't be able to agree. >> yep.
4:40 am
richard, thank you very much for a fascinating conversation. we'll be right back. >> is this the right decision? should those rules apply to a journalist like keith olbermann on a cable network on a show like "countdown." >> you almost expect ee to say it's about time but this is absurd. no one was under any perception that keith was an impartial journalist.
4:41 am
4:42 am
4:43 am
welcome to our political party. tonight we have with us shushannah welshe, a reporter for the dailypiece.com. also stephen a. smith and will cain, at "the nast review." thank you for coming. >> any party tonight will be talking about this. msnbc announced keith olbermann has been suspended indefinitely without pay for contributing to democrat candidates an apparent violation of their ethics policy. the network's policy states and i quote "anyone working for nbc news who fakes part in other -- in civic or other outside activities may find these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest." olbermann acknowledged he made donations of 400 to three candidates and did not encourage anyone else to make donations. all right.
4:44 am
is this the right decision? should those rules apply to a journalist like keith olbermann on a cable network on a show mike "countdown"? >> you almost expect me to say it's about time but this is absurd. no one was under any perception that he was impartial and for that matter no one was under any misperception that msnbc is impartial. it took ten minutes -- >> they don't deliver the news right down the middle. >> come on. >> just like fox. i want to be clear. >> for ten minutes on election night that's all you had to see. i feel like if i were keith i'd be like i've been doing what i've been doing for years and now this is what you do to me. >> as a journalist i would never do this but the policy is clear and if that's the policy, that's the policy, end of story, right. >> i agree. i think it's the rule. he broke it. the punishment is strong, i agree but that's the rule and he broke it. that's my view on it. i think that is clear. >> stephen a.? >> i think it's utterly ridiculous.
4:45 am
i think the -- again, what will said, it's not impartial. if it were nbc, if it were tom broke cow, that would be different. but msnbc, there's a clear tilt to the left. we all know that. they go on the air every night. they give their opinions. they let you know how they speak. i mean they dedicated a show, if you listen to keith olbermann giving, you know, talking about universal health care and he gave an impassioned 30 minutes about this -- i'm sorry, an hour, clearly you know what his position is. there is no denying it. there's nothing impartial about what he does. >> i agree there's nothing impartial and clearly, look, the network can change their policy if they want if it's not the right policy for those circumstances, they can change it but keith missed a great gig here because as a journalist you don't get to donate -- you don't have to. >> but what i'm saying -- wait a minute. wait a minute. somebody that -- because he worked for espn years ago, he
4:46 am
worked for fox just like i did, the reality is is that at msnbc, i don't know -- how long has this policy been in place and was that made clear to him? >> look -- >> you're the lawyer. >> well, i think shushannah got it right. it's in his contract. they have the right to do that. that's not the big question. it is a silly policy and i'm with you, stephen and with you, will. it is ridiculous to believe that msnbc any more than fox is impartial. let's talk about the elephant in the room here. fox news corp gave a million dollars to the republican governor's association. this is -- first, it's a first amendment right. no such thing as pure impartiality. if i gave a contribution, i would disclose it. it is a ridiculous false line and i don't buy it for a second. he is partial. he is a partisan. he made it very clear he was. that's the first amendment. god bless it. >> kathleen is right on point. keith, why did you feel the need to do this?
4:47 am
you dedicate so much time to liberal causes every night, the dollar amount value, who knows what? >> you're right. you know what and that was true for rupert murdoch's contribution through news corp. he gave millions to the republican party. it cost him -- >> i think the moral is that journalism has changed a lot and we need to address that and maybe the rules have to be changed accordingly. >> you know what, it hasn't changed. >> you've got a contract and a deal. you sign on to it. that's what you did. okay, so to the elections. midterm. it's halftime in the football game. you're the coach and in the locker room with president obama. what do you tell him. >> i say, hell of a job. you put up a lot of points. don't worry about the second half but you set a record but let me say this -- >> then you disclose you're being paid by the other side. >> football is the wrong analogy. team tug-of-war. look, elliot, you and i are on opposite ends both doing what we think is right for america and the game is pull each other and
4:48 am
america to our side. president obama's had the most successful legislative sessions in 50 year. >> says you. >> and he has passed a health care bill that liberal presidents have tried to do for a century. i would say, president obama, relax, look how far you advanced that rope. that is unprecedented. >> wow. and now i'm not trying to figure out if you're playing a clever game of he's going to a big defeat or you're really -- >> this is about ideas and i think when liberals lament as i'm afraid stephen might try to do what obama has accomplished over the last two years that's totally off base. it is amazing the liberal agenda that's been driven. the ball has been advanced on your side so far, you should not be sitting here complaining. >> okay. coach shushannah? >> i guess on a lighter side i would pat him on the back and say great job i'm going to go run for the mayor of chicago but seriously, i would say that he needs to sit down, look at the other players on his team, talk to them and decide which ones need to maybe go to a different team or sit out the season and
4:49 am
my football analogies aren't great. but i think that he really needs to sit with his team and i think that the american people have spoken. they're unhappy and even though there has been a lot of work done, an incredible amoun as you said i don't think they're happy and it was clear on tuesday. >> you think -- >> the fans may not be showing up but he still played a great game. >> that's a great analogy. >> i'm lost. maybe i'm just completely ignorant because i don't feel -- first of all you could use whatever analogy you want. pick your sport. i don't think he's had that great of a time. i respect where you're coming from. i'm a registered independent. i'm as center as they come. >> you said you're not objective, come on. >> i'm not objective but what i'm saying is i'm comfortable with the middle. i don't like extremes. i do understand you have a lot of people that look at universal health care and incredibly happy. i'm the lone african-american on this panel. when i think about jobs, when i think about the enact that while
4:50 am
we have an unemployment rate hovering at around 9.6% but over 15% in the african-american community, over 30% among young black males and 45% according to ben stein in terms of young black males dak i'm sorry, black teenagers, it affects me in a different kind of way because i'm saying to you i'm not knock the fact universal health care was his agenda, what i'm saying the number one objective should have been unemployment and about jobs and stick lating an economy as opposing to pushing his leftist agenda. that cost them the seats. i'm happy for him because i think nancy pelosi has been an impediment to him and he'll be better this time around but i don't view it the way you do. >> the crowd is cheering now. can i hit the applause button. >> we will come back and continue this. follow us on our blog at cnn.com/parkerspitzer and facebook and twitter, as well. >> hate to punt but we'll be right back. another quick question for our political party.
4:51 am
but there's one that's so clever, it makes your skin look better even after you take it off. neutrogena healthy skin liquid makeup. 98% of women saw improvement in their skin's natural texture, tone, or clarity. does your makeup do that? neutrogena® cosmetics recommended most by dermatologists.
4:52 am
4:53 am
i'm joe johns. more of "parker spitzer" in a moment. first the latest. hurricane tomas is pounding haiti with torrential rains. the hurricane passed to the west
4:54 am
of haiti this afternoon but winds are expected to bring heavy rains well into saturday to various parts of the country. while it stop the raining for now in port-au-prince, the capital city, anywhere between 5 and 15 inches of rain is expected to fall across haiti. the immediate concerns are flash flooding and mud slides. and tonight on "360" at 10:00 we'll talk to sean penn who is in haiti on what conditions are like on the ground. tens of thousands of haitians are still homeless from january's powerful earthquake. the yemen-based arm of al qaeda has claimed responsibility for last week's plot to send explosive devices on cargo planes bound for the united states. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula posted its claim on various radical islamist websites. the connecticut jury deciding the sentence for stephen hayes will resume deliberations tomorrow. he could receive the death penalty. he was convicted of murdering jennifer hawke-petit and her two daughters during a home invasion in 2007.
4:55 am
and keith olbermann has been suspended indefinitely from his nightly program on msnbc, the network took the action after discovering that olbermann donated money to three democrats running in the midterm elections in violation of nbc policy. that's the latest. "parker spitzer" is back after this. assistance getting around their homes. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little or no cost to you. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your mobility and your life. one medicare benefit that, with private insurance, may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen ... your power chair will be paid in full. the scooter store. hi i'm doug harrison. we're experts at getting you the power chair or scooter you need. in fact, if we qualify you for medicare reimbursement and medicare denies your claim, we'll give you your new power chair or scooter free.
4:56 am
i didn't pay a penny out of pocket for my power chair. with help from the scooter store, medicare and my insurance covered it all. call the scooter store for free information today.
4:57 am
4:58 am
all right. this weekend is the breeder's cup, the big kahuna of horse racing and the leading contender is zenyatta. zenyatta has never lost a race. drinks fiji water and guinness ale and is a huge star on the circuit. who is the zenyatta of politics. sorry. zenyatta. pardonez-moi. >> you want me to find an undefeated winning woman politician that survives on imported water and booze? >> and runs that fast. >> runs that fast. >> a great dame.
4:59 am
>> that's a stretch. >> i don't know. >> answer the answer is? >> i feel like you want me to cesar rai palin. >> no. >> shushannah, it's way -- >> she doesn't drink but she's unconventional and been very successful so this -- this cycle. >> 49 out of 77. >> sarah? >> yeah. >> sarah doesn't drink. >> i mean not like -- >> if she does, i don't know. >> she drinks melted glacier water. >> that's one thing i don't know about sarah palin. >> the answer is easy. hillary rodham clinton. yes, she lost the democratic nomination but she had 18 million folks that supported her. she came out with flying colors. you've got people now because of the shaky presidency of barack obama, i'm sorry and you've got people looking at her and thinking that she could potentially be a presidential candidate or that she should be. you combine that with the fact that she's been the secretary of state and basically she stayed out of the way when this election was going -- she was out of the country and not anywhere to be found.